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Features: Articles & Interviews: Book Reviews

"Space: 1999 - Resurrection" by William Latham

By Michael Faries, Webmaster,

Book cover for 'Space: 1999 - Resurrection' from Powys Media.

Book cover for "Resurrection."


The threat of Balor of Progron looms above them once again!

Humanity's mortal dominance over the moon is about to be challenged and its days numbered... because Balor has returned!

One of Moonbase Alpha's most potent foes stands on the brink of reclaiming and reshaping the destiny of its populace. In the face of such unrelenting, horrifying evil, can the Alphans stop him again, even as the base--and the commander himself--succumbs to his machinations?


First seen in the Johnny Byrne-scripted, Space: 1999 Year One television episode "End of Eternity" we learn of Balor's original plight: A scientific genius from another world, transformed into an immortal being--and an insane state of mind. Banished amongst the stars and imprisoned within the depths of a windowless asteroid, he spends thousands of years alone, waiting for an end that will never come. A chance encounter with the wayward Earth moon and an exploratory party from Moonbase Alpha frees him. And in short time, the madman remains true to his pathologic self, wanting to reap destruction, torture and never-ending pain upon the populace. Ultimately, it is Commander John Koenig that dispatches the villain who is tricked into an Alphan airlock and cast out into the lunar wilderness, seemingly hurled into space, supposidely destroyed for all time.

But as we learn in "Resurrection" Balor's immortal physiology refuses to die. Millimeter by millimeter, the being makes its way back to the base, dying, then reborn endlessly on the deadly lunar surface. It is pure evil, intending to emerge from the shadows and cast further darkness over whatever it touches. Soulless? Perhaps. Insanely intelligent and determined? Beyond measure.

Space: 1999 has been long regarded as a poorly-executed, garish science fiction series that was unfairly compared to the utopian, ever-optimistic original Star Trek series, rather than the gothic/horror science fiction it actually was. In this case, both series have something very much in common: An epic battle between good and evil as destined between the lead character and his ultimate nemesis.

Star Trek found a second life in the movies, most noteworthy in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan--the sequel to the TV series episode, "Space Seed." And equally so, writer William Latham, under the stewardship of publisher Mateo Latosa/Powys Media, brings us a remarkable continuation--and conclusion--to one of Space: 1999's most nefarious villains. Just as Star Trek's Captain James T. Kirk was twice faced with the pernicious threat of the superhuman Khan Noonien Singh, Space: 1999's Commander John Koenig must deal with the immortal menace, Balor. The comparison is not made lightly. Latham presents an equally dramatic and eventful story in the same vein. This truly is Space: 1999's own Wrath of Balor.

That brings me to author Latham's incredible storytelling abilities. He paints familiar scenery with a stylish treatise and a uniquely descriptive manner, set on the canvas of Space: 1999's first season. It is all-too-easy for an author to regurgitate dialogue heard within the television episodes, or mimic our expectations of what our characters should be saying or doing. Instead of forging an deus ex machina tale where the usual suspect saves the day, Latham dares to surprise by exposing the courage and unseen abilities within other Alphan characters.

The story is remarkably dark in tone--and rightfully so. It embodies and expands beyond the horror elements seen in the television series. Latham grows and transforms our favorite Alphans in a subtle manner, depicting changes created by their seemingly-hopeless plight, then sunders their world with mystery and dramatic flair. From the sadness of Alpha's lost heroes within "Boot Hill" (the newly established cemetary and welcomed story element), to the rise in heroics by others (names omitted to prevent major spoilers), we witness the Alphans at their highest--and lowest--points. Faced with Balor's return, the namesake of this novel, the readership will encounter numerous story twists, asking how the Alphans can possibly triumph. True to form, Latham surprises along the way, weaving the reader through a mystery/horror story that stands as one of Space: 1999's finest hours.

For those wanting a purely action-packed adventure, this book is not for you. Admittedly, I craved seeing Alpha's famous Eagle transporter spacecraft in action--but their use didn't factor into the major plot points. I had issues with the time devoted to (details omitted for spoiler prevention purposes) that hammered at the Alphans' senses towards the first half of the novel. But they were minor issues in the overall storyline.

As mentioned in our original review, the story is "The book is brilliant--that is NO exaggeration. The characterizations are firmly nailed; the tone and textures of Space: 1999 are captured accurately; and the novel is intelligently written, almost painfully so." One of Latham's many core literary strengths is character depiction. Balor is essentially a one-dimensional character: Insane, immortal, driven to cause an eternity of pain to those within reach. However, Balor's vengeance factor is skillfully revealed, particularly when pitted against Moonbase Alpha's designated savior, the survival-driven Koenig. We watch the downfall of our hero, the turn of despair to hopelessness, Death as a tangible presence and a subtle hint of Space: 1999's fabled Mysterious Unknown Force (M.U.F.) abetting in the unfolding events in the Alphans' struggle for survival... and their ongoing transformation as humanity's legacy amongst the stars.

Balor proves to be multi-dimensional as he delves into the realm of death's domain, including the masterful manipulation of various Space: 1999 characters we've known. Alphans are turned against one another in truly horrific ways, adding to the nightmarish lust that fuels the horror elements. In the process, Latham proves himself an articulate novelist of the sci-fi and horror genres--and one of my favorite writers in recent years.

"Resurrection" remains this reviewer's favorite Space: 1999 book, surpassed only by Latham's "Eternity Unbound" which includes this novel, plus two other stories spanning Balor's existence.


SPACE1999.ORG's HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION: 5 stars - highest rating (of 5)

Purchase the book

You can purchase "Space 1999 - Resurrection" by William Latham by visiting our online Store section. All purchases support this web site.

From reviews of "Space: 1999 - Resurrection"

"Brilliant...the characterizations are firmly nailed; the tone and textures of Space: 1999 are captured accurately."

Johnny Byrne, script editor/writer Space: 1999
"Very well done...a remarkable achievement in capturing the authentic beat of the series."

As the publisher writes, "...a Space: 1999 novel like no other published before!"

TO EVERYONE: Help support Powys Media and their Space: 1999 (and The Prisoner) endeavor: Please purchase copies of their novels. Tell friends, family, and fellow fans outside of this forum about this book's availability -- and obtaining it from Powys Media's web site. I look forward to ordering additional copies for friends and family, too.

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